Absolutely Nothing To Wear : Uzes, a style all of its very ownPosted: July 21, 2011
The danger with buying clothes whilst on holiday, is that you can often find yourself being swayed towards a style you would never normally wear and which never seems to translate terribly well back home. This is a particular danger in Uzes where they have a style all of their very own – a sort of Marie Antoinette meets shabby sexy hippy kind of look – fabulous on the right person but not at all on the wrong. Let me give you a little example, although this one involves a man but you’ll get the idea – there is a little shop off the main square, which sells beautiful cotton Mousquetaire shirts. They have them in all sizes and on children they can look rather sweet. They are large and billowing and fastened at the neck with a laced ribbon which criss crosses up the front. Think Dartanian, or Dogtanian if, like me, you preferred that version. The father of a friend, who shall remain nameless, came to Uzes a few years ago and bought himself one of these local Mousquetaire fashion blouse / shirts and continued to wear it back home in South London paired with jeans and Crocs for his Sunday lunch at home look. I don’t think I need say any more.
This is quite an extreme example and to be honest, there were about 20 dresses I could have quite happily bought and which at home, worn with a leather jacket and biker boots, would have been rather lovely. This brings me on to perhaps the best shop I have ever visited. L’Atelier Des Ours is located on one of the little side streets a moment away from the main square – for those unfamiliar with Uzes, it is a little like Venice without the canals – and sells all these fabulous Uzes style clothes for women and children. In amongst the swathes of linen and lace and florals and silk, there are vintage tins and toys and signs and glass plates with domes and dolls and all sorts of lovely treasures. It’s a little hard to tell what’s for sale and what isn’t but you have the feeling that the lady would happily sell you anything if you asked…..and had enough pennies. The floor downstairs as you enter is covered in fine sand which somehow makes you feel immediately excited but also quiet and careful. This is not a shop for the children! There’s a delicious ice cream stand at the cafe next door which will keep them amused while you take it all in.
I was so tempted I can’t tell you and even more so watching a customer flouncing around the shop making sharp intakes of breathy excitement as she tried on another layered skirt over her silk floral slip. It’s hard to tell whether it was the surroundings which made me love it all or the clothes themselves. So back home to the English countryside and do I wish I’d indulged myself or am I happy back in my ubiquitous jeans and sweatshirt look? It’s hard to tell. I haven’t returned home particularly longing for anything I saw, apart from the glass cloches, the 1950s school desk, the chalk board, the pretty floral sun dress, the cast iron bath, the vintage signs and tins, the wardrobes, the brown leather laced ankle boots, the 1920s hat box……no, absolutely nothing at all really.